We Can’t Talk About NBA Defense. That’s a Problem.

There was an offhand remark in a recent Zach Lowe column on ESPN that pointed out Klay Thompson‘s positive attributes as a wing defender, and Thompson enjoys a reputation as one of the premier stoppers in the league whenever he’s got a man in front of him. Anyone who watches Warriors games can see it. But on the other hand, Thompson’s advanced defensive metrics range from “mediocre” to “utterly putrid, like among the worst in the league” when you look him up on Basketball Reference, his 112 Defensive Rating, minus-2.2 Defensive Box Plus-Minus, and that stat’s subsequent drag on his …

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Dear Gods, Myles Turner Can Rebound Now

Myles Turner was in real danger of becoming another Roy Hibbert or Rik Smits type of center for the Pacers as he entered the fourth season of his career at the start of the season. Turner’s career-best rebounding percentage came in his rookie year, as he pulled down just 13.3 percent of the available rebounds coming off the boards. Those are small forward numbers. And his continued decline in that stat risked turning him into the worst kind of defensive center, the guy who gambles for the block and if he doesn’t get it, he gets scored on when the …

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The Star Turn of Domantas Sabonis

The Indiana Pacers are a little too prone to putting their money in the wrong place in trying to find an explanation for their breakout into the NBA’s upper echelon since Paul George left. First it was a four-year extension for Nate McMillan, the second-worst case in the league (behind Tom Thibodeau in Minnesota) of a team that should’ve made a coaching change instead rewarding the guy who took them to the playoffs. Indiana going 48-34 is why they didn’t blow up the sideline and hire Mike Budenholzer (go ahead, imagine a team that’s been as good from beyond the …

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The People Vs. Myles Turner

Myles Turner got a 4-year, $72 million contract extension from the Indiana Pacers ahead of this season, with incentives that could push him up to $80 million over the four years if he hits them. All that for a center who can’t rebound, takes too many midrange jump shots, and has never posted a positive offensive Box Plus-Minus in his career. At this point, you may be sensibly asking yourself why the Pacers just paid $18 million a year for Roy Hibbert when they could’ve traded Turner for assets and rolled with Domantas Sabonis as the starter and Kyle O’Quinn …

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Domantas Sabonis is a true Rising Star

In this space, I have often gone after Myles Turner, suggesting that his ceiling is a lot lower than Pacers fans hoped it would be when Turner came into the league and effectively became a poor man’s Hassan Whiteside with his shotblocking. Well, move over, Myles, because Domantas Sabonis is about to take your spot, and the Pacers are better off for it. Consider this fun fact courtesy of Fanrag’s Andy Bailey… In the 910 minutes Victor Oladipo & Myles Turner have shared the floor, Indiana's outscoring opponents by 5.5 PTS per 100 poss. In the 812 minutes Oladipo & …

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Myles Turner: Is He Any Good?

by Fox Doucette Myles Turner is in his third season in the league, and he’s played 180 games now. The day looms large where the Pacers will have to decide in free agency whether he’s essential to the franchise future; his rookie deal, which pays him $2.57 million this year and $3.41 million next year, is up in 2019. But is Turner worth it? The way he sends shots back and protects the rim brings to mind Hassan Whiteside, but his rebounding draws comparisons to Roy Hibbert. Likewise, he’s ranging out beyond the arc and shooting slightly below league average. …

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Should Myles Turner Be Indiana’s Sixth Man?

Over the course of this season, we’ve learned some things about Myles Turner, and they’re not necessarily the lessons we’d hoped to learn watching him navigate his first two seasons in the league. In particular, the belief that his ceiling was “rich man’s Hassan Whiteside” may have been a bit overly optimistic. Turner, unlike Whiteside, is a terrible rebounder, and he’s so afraid of contact that you’d think he was shooting 30 percent from the free throw line and not 77.8 for his career. Instead, his ceiling is more “Roy Hibbert with a jump shot.” The Pacers are 9-7 when …

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